A transgender woman is suing the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) of the US after it effectively barred her from playing in its tournaments.
Lana Lawless (57) won the Women’s Long Drive Association Championship in 2008 but a change in the LPGA’s policy – which now states that players must be “female at birth” – will see her no longer allowed to take part.
The organisation has taken the position that transgender golfers have an unfair physical advantage over players who were born women.
Lawless is a former male police officer but had gender reassignment surgery in 2005.
“I just want to have the same opportunity to play professional golf as any other woman,” Lawless told the New York Times.
“I am, in all respects, legally, and physically female. The State of California recognises me as such and the LPGA should not be permitted to come into California and blatantly violate my rights.”
Her lawsuit asks that the LPGA be barred from holding events until it changes its rules and allows transgender women to join. She has also sued for damages.